Jaron Lowenstein, of Jaron and the Long Road to Love, first emerged onto the music scene in the late 90s as one half of Evan and Jaron. Together, the identical twin brothers enjoyed a run of successful singles including the multi-platinum selling song, "Crazy For This Girl." The duo also had their songs featured in movies such as Runaway Bride ("From My Head to My Heart") and Serendipity ("The Distance"). After a longer than planned hiatus from music, Jaron began the groundwork for his debut solo album with a single mission in mind. "I came back to music in March of 2009, because the country was in such a sad place and I felt a calling to help others out of their funk with my music and character."
In fact, much of what Jaron does is with a purpose and on purpose. "To know me is to know that everything is intentional. I'm a big fan of distraction and unblending. I like to encourage conversation even if it's not in favor of the brand or band." This includes his choosing a name that would represent his solo act. Rather than being a "band name," Jaron and the Long Road to Love essentially reveals a man who isn't shy about admitting that he hasn't gotten it right – yet – in the arena of love. "Some people love the name, some hate it, but they all have an opinion one way or the other. That's what I care about."
Jaron made a conscious decision to include his fans on his musical journey from the get go. When he wanted feedback on his songs, he brought them straight to his fans "because I wanted to go directly to my audience. I wanted to be fan-led." He continues, "You can remove all guessing by allowing your fans to tell you with their actions exactly what they want. The old model is the guessing business. I'm in the knowing business, because I work directly for my fans. The choice was a no-brainer." In return, fans showered him with overwhelming support, which is literally what helped Jaron earn a hit with his debut single, "Pray For You." It was their ceaseless efforts in inundating stations with requests for the song that garnered the attention of program directors across the country. Knowing this, Jaron never fails to recognize his fans – whom he calls FRANS (part friend, part fan) – for breaking him back onto radio. Comprised with a series of wishful thinking scenarios, "Pray For You" is a sarcasm-infused ode to exes that contains just enough punch without ever truly getting nasty. "I have written plenty of funny songs, but I think my strength as a writer is truth, and truth is what makes 'Pray For You' funny."
Jaron released two separate videos to accompany the single. While the original remained true to the lyrics, the second video captured the same situation from a very different perspective. "The prequel was simply the backstory. It was a way to let the audience know that this seemingly nice guy didn't just write this song out of nowhere. He was, in fact, provoked." In other words, Jaron lived this song.
So perhaps it is not a surprise that the Long Road to Love is also the common thread throughout his debut solo album. Getting Dressed in the Dark includes seven solo writes and three co-writes – including "Pray For You" – co-written with friend and fellow songwriter/musician, Joel Brentlinger. Jaron admits, "I'm not a big co-writer because of the subject matter I'm currently writing about. It's hard for me to ask someone for help when describing something I experienced." His personal experiences and observations on the many layers of love form the foundation of Getting Dressed in the Dark, which was released in digital and physical CD formats on June 22, 2010. Each song on the album plays out like a separate entry in Jaron's deeply personal diary over the course of one romance that eventually dissolved. "The songs on the CD are my experiences. They are all a piece of the pie that captures my personal account of a relationship," he shares. "I lived every song on the record. Some days are funny, some are hopeful, some are sad, some are heartbreaking, and some are beautiful."
Jaron shined the light on the "beautiful" sides of love in his second single. "That's Beautiful to Me" celebrates all the seemingly trifling imperfections about a person that may be exasperating at first but ultimately wind up becoming beautiful as the relationship blossoms over time. Jaron shares his reasons for following up his debut single with a song that is the polar opposite in sentiment and emotion: "I chose 'That's Beautiful to Me' as the second single because I wanted to establish that I write and sing about all aspects of the relationship and not just when things don’t go well." He stresses, "I've had some wonderful experiences in love and I wanted to share that side too." To those who wonder how the same person could possibly write both "Pray For You" and "That's Beautiful to Me," Jaron simply replies: "That's life." He explains, "In relationships, we don't just love some people and hate others. We love and can be annoyed by the same people. My ex could upset me or I upset her and then ten minutes later, we could be giggling together like nothing ever happened." For the video, Jaron brought Jeremy Garelick on board as the director, who crafted a treatment that follows a long-lasting romance through visual vignettes. The "Beautiful" video co-stars Kristin Cavalleri (Laguna Beach, Veronica Mars, The Hills) and premiered October 1, 2010 on CMT and CMT.com.
Stylistically, to say that Jaron's music is "country" is accurate only in the sense that the lyrics he writes fall within the lines of that format. "I've found a home on country radio because the audience that likes songs that tell stories or is lyrically conscious is predominantly country." Otherwise, his music holds no boundaries – and that's exactly the way Jaron wants it to be. "I didn't pick a genre and I still refuse to label myself as a genre because I like to think I make the music that comes out of me and not be hamstringed by trying to fit it into a certain style." Due to this fact, when he started this project, Jaron didn't know where his music would be embraced. He simply put his experiences into music and turned to his FRANS for direction. Ditching traditional business structures takes a certain leap of faith, not knowing ahead of time where he would land, only that he would somewhere and somehow – hence the name Jaron chose for his album.
Jaron's creativity and work ethic extends well beyond singing and writing songs. "I'm lucky to be involved in all aspects of the music from writing it to recording it, to marketing and delivering it. So, when I get tired of doing one, I get to do another." By far, "the best part for me is the engagement. Whether that takes place amongst musicians in the studio or between FRANS on Facebook or the live show, that's where I light up." He says Evan taught him the importance of engaging the fans and that is why he makes it a priority to regularly converse with his FRANS. Jaron is – by his own proclamation – the "king" of Facebook and he truly enjoys hanging out with his 150,000+ FRANS as much as his schedule allows
His unending devotion to his FRANS has already earned him several enormous career milestones. Propelled by digital sales alone, Getting Dressed in the Dark has topped the iTunes chart for Top Country Albums as well as rounded out the Top 10 Albums in all genres. To date, 120,000 copies of Getting Dressed in the Dark have been sold. "Pray For You" remains a Top 5 song in overall sales and was the #1 selling song by a new artist in 2010. The single is 29,000 sales away from accumulating one million single digital downloads, and has racked up more than 220,000 purchases. The song is also included in the Now 35: That's What I Call Music compilation album. [It is worthy to note that every album in that series has sold no less than one million copies.] In addition, collective YouTube views on his "Pray For You" videos are nearing 20 million.
As much as he is enjoying his solo ride, there's something to be said about having someone to share successes with. For Jaron, one of those people is Evan. "I love what I'm doing, but I would much prefer to be doing this with my brother." Watching his twin being welcomed as a solo artist, Evan couldn’t be more proud! "I've been more than supportive of Jaron doing his own thing for a long time. I'm a fan and I truly think the material he's putting out right now is better than anything we ever did together." Although not in the spotlight, Evan is still very much involved in the music business, as he continues to work very closely with Jaron behind the scenes. Evan's newest project is StageIt, a Web-based platform designed for fellow artists; his new music-tech startup launched in fall of 2010.
Business and music aside, Jaron is also an elaborate prankster. By his own admission, he has "pulled so many I can't remember which was the biggest." In one of his milder pranks, Jaron rallied his FRANS to email fake booking requests to his agent. Said agent has since retaliated with a prank of his own, snapping a photo of a napping Jaron adorning his own "All Access" laminate. Pranking is a long-time tradition on country tours, so future tourmates best beware of his capers! Speaking of touring, Jaron zipped all over the United States during the last half of 2010, beginning with summer festivals. He then joined the "American Ride" tour with Toby Keith and Trace Adkins through September. Immediately following that tour, Jaron assembled his own full-band show and headlined a solo pre-tour with dates through November. He spent December writing new songs and preparing for the release of "Happy For You" – available on iTunes, Amazon.com, and other digital outlets on January 11, 2011.
Jaron encourages fans to "try before you buy" by offering full-length streaming for five songs from his album – including "Pray For You" and "That's Beautiful to Me" – on his Facebook and MySpace pages.
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